That glittering ray of light at the end of the long lockdown tunnel is finally here, and most of us (especially us at #TeamCoco) are wasting absolutely no time in getting our travel plans in order.

Although we have a list of pre-approved travel corridor countries to choose from, now more than ever, a beautiful British staycation seems to be one of the best bets. Did you really want to wear a face mask on a thirteen-hour flight to St Barts anyway? Think about it, no long flights, easy to organise, and the opportunity to make a banging road trip playlist. We’re not quite suggesting Skegness become the new Marbs, but we’ve got plenty of UK hotspots for you to explore. We apologise in advance for any questionable weather.

Rockliffe Hall is a 5-star Victorian redbrick mansion hotel and spa in a little patch of nowhere not too far from Darlington in the North East. The idyllic location is just one of many appeals, which you’ll soon appreciate when you’re relaxing in the spa with nothing but the sound of the birds and cascading water to disturb you.

You can really make anything of a trip here. Romantic couple for two? Sure. Small family break? Great idea. Spa weekend away with mates? Literally, count us in. Of course, depending on when you’re reading this, we recommend to check in with any hotel about what services they can offer under government lockdown rules. These are crazy times.

Anyway, depending on what you’re after, our guess is there’s a package to suit (usually that means a couple of cheeky extras thrown in to tempt you). To give you an idea, here’s what we got up to.

Our first tip is to arrive as early as you can. Don’t beat the door down at the crack of dawn, but definitely leave yourself enough hours to make the most of the place.

Start with the spa in a box, it’s delivered to your room ready for your arrival and will guarantee to have you feeling zen faster than you can say ‘check in.’ With full sized Neom products, think candles, bath oil and face masks, you will easily while away many hours in the oversized bath complete with built in TV to guarantee you don’t miss you latest Neflix marathon.

In this brief period between the end of lockdown and the world getting back to normal, Rockliffe Hall have done a very good job at providing their famous 5-star service at a very sensible social distance. The spa team, for example, have put together in-room spa boxes, with all the products you need to pamper yourself silly, and even mini video tutorials on how to use them properly.

Imagine, robed up and facial-ed out and you hear a knock at the door. What could it be? Of course, it’s the new Champagne and Cocktail Trolley Service, serving up their best cocktails fresh at your door to enjoy on your own private terrace or balcony.

Social distancing aside, for most of the part it’s business as usual. A lot of the perks people enjoy at Rockliffe Hall, like taking in the grounds on a bike ride or enjoying a seven-course tasting menu in the restaurant are still readily available.

One of the things we absolutely love about Rockliffe Hall are their picnic hampers. A beautifully crafted lunch menu available to go (with the option to upgrade for this to include Champagne, which we obviously recommend) and their concierge will even point out some of the most picturesque spots on the estate to enjoy it.

Not sure about you, but the more we consider this different way of life, the more we’re actually loving it. Outdoor bike rides, relaxing in your own private spa, private picnics and cocktails literally made fresh for you at your door? Now, this is a ‘new normal’ we can really get behind.

Update: Rockliffe Hall has been certified as “good to go” by Visit Britain, and has also launched a Healthy Hospitality Charter so you know you can stay safe. Plus, if you check ahead of time to make sure their spa is open, you won’t be disappointed. – there are five treatment rooms, monsoon showers, hydropool, outdoor hot tub and foot spa. If you’re not already wet, the heated outdoor infinity pool is the serious icing on the spa cake, especially if you’re experiencing some of that questionable British summer weather we mentioned earlier. The spa has the absolute feeling of luxe – whatever treatments you take. They use only top brands like Neom and Caudalie which leave your body feeling truly taken care of, and oozing with the scents essential oils.

Check your diary


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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